Many people have such a pronounced anxiety about going to the dentist that they don’t obtain necessary dental work – treatments that can prevent serious damage to their teeth and gums. Some of these anxieties are often rooted in the uncomfortable sounds of drills and the potential pain of injections. With laser dentistry technologies such as Waterlase® MD, Dr. Mark Sweeney and our experienced team can perform a number of treatments that are virtually pain-free. This advanced technology makes it possible to complete treatments in less time, and in many cases, we can avoid the need for drills, needles, or anesthesia.
- What Is Laser Dentistry?
- Laser Dentistry Benefits
- Laser Dentistry Candidates
- Does Laser Dentistry Hurt?
- Laser Dentistry Risks
- Laser Dentistry Cost
- Additional Laser Dentistry FAQs
What Is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry is an advanced technique that can be used in a variety of procedures. At Austin Dental Spa, our team uses Waterlase MD technology, which emits a small, focused beam of light energy to the target area of the mouth. As a gentler, more precise treatment technique, Dr. Sweeney is able to provide more comfortable dental care with improved outcomes. Common treatments performed using laser dentistry include:
- Small, tooth-colored fillings
- Cosmetic gum reshaping
- Canker sore reduction
- Removing excess tissue growths and extreme muscle attachments
- Sterilizing the periodontal pockets and aiding in gum disease treatment
What Are the Benefits of Laser Dentistry Treatment?
The Waterlase MD laser makes it possible to remove tooth decay, perform dental fillings, and even eliminate diseased bone and gum tissue without using a drill. In fact, for patients who need a small filling, you likely will not even need an injection of local anesthetic for the procedure. Laser energy, coupled by a steady stream of water, takes away the problem areas along the tooth precisely and virtually painlessly. The laser also sterilizes the treatment areas and helps to minimize bleeding and tissue damage. You will most likely not need any stitches after laser procedures, and recovery is typically much faster. The laser is also much quieter than a dental drill, and vibration during treatment is completely eliminated.
Who Is a Candidate for Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry has revolutionized the way many preventative and restorative procedures are performed. You may be a good candidate for laser dentistry if you have:
- Uneven or excess gum tissue
- Gum disease
- Canker sores or cold sores
- Conditions that require oral surgery
- Restorative dental needs (dental implants, root canal, porcelain veneers)
- Dental anxiety triggered by drill noises or sensations
If it has been a while since your last professional teeth cleaning, laser dentistry is an exceptional option for eliminating additional bacteria and deeply sterilizing the gum tissue. Our dentists will be happy to further explain the many ways laser dentistry can effectively and more comfortably treat the conditions above and more during your next visit.
Does Laser Dentistry Hurt?
Patients usually find laser dentistry to be much more comfortable than traditional dental techniques. In fact, numbing often is not required during treatment due to the minimal discomfort typically experienced. While there may be a feeling of warmth during treatment, laser dentistry is an especially tolerable method of treatment, due to the addition of water cooling off the tissue as the laser is in use. Additionally, laser treatment offers an improved recovery process, as it eliminates the discomfort involved with stitches, bleeding, and numbness. With virtually pain-free laser dentistry, you may never need to fear a trip to the dentist’s office again.
What Risks Are Associated with Laser Dentistry?
When performed by a qualified dental professional like Dr. Sweeney, laser dentistry has minimal risk. The amount and intensity of the laser energy directed at your oral tissues is customized for your specific needs, which is why it is important to seek an experienced dentist who is skilled in laser treatments. Throughout your procedure, you will wear special glasses to help shield your eyes from the laser light.
How Much Does Laser Dentistry Cost?
The cost of laser dentistry is typically similar to that of traditional methods of treatment. However, since laser technology can often provide a more efficient treatment process, procedures can sometimes be completed in fewer sessions, leading to a lower overall cost. The specifics of your personalized laser dentistry treatment, including how much your cost is estimated to be, will be discussed with you during your visit.
Additional Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Dentistry
How do laser dentistry and traditional dentistry differ?
There are several notable differences between laser and traditional dentistry. To begin, laser treatments can address conditions by reaching beneath the surface of gum tissue without the need for traditional open procedures that can expose the inner gums. This allows a conservative, non-surgical approach to thoroughly remove bacteria and reshape the bone like never before.
Since the laser’s ability is powered by high-energy light, the use of traditional dentistry tools (scalpels and drills) are often completely eliminated. Without the need for incisions, laser dentistry has shown that patients can experience treatments with less oral/gum trauma and significantly less pain during procedures.
Additionally, with minimal swelling or inflammation after laser dentistry treatments, patients tend to heal noticeably faster than procedures performed with traditional dentistry methods. With that said, traditional dentistry may still be the best course of treatment and your dentist will advise you on the most effective method to perform a procedure to address your condition.
How long does laser dentistry take?
Laser dentistry can be used for various procedures so the treatment time will differ for each patient. Generally though, laser treatments can be completed in less time as they require a less invasive approach without the preparation needed for anesthesia, incisions, and stitches. Due to the more efficient process, laser treatments can also save time because they may be completed in fewer sessions.
Do I need an anesthetic for laser dentistry?
One of the benefits of laser dentistry is that it can often be used without the need for any anesthetic. However, this will depend on the degree of treatment needed. For example, if you are having a cavity filled or addressing early stages of gum disease, anesthesia will most likely not be necessary. For more advanced gum disease or more complicated procedures, the assistance of a numbing agent may be administered.
Does insurance cover laser dentistry?
Insurance coverage may be possible for laser dentistry depending on the medical need and on an individual basis. If the treatment is primarily for cosmetic reasons, insurance will most likely not be an option. Our team can review your insurance policy with you to determine any available benefits, as well as provide information on financing options available for qualified applicants through our reputable lending partner, CareCredit®.
Contact Austin Dental Spa
For more information on our no-shot fillings and pain-free laser dentistry procedures, or to schedule an appointment at Austin Dental Spa, please contact us today.